Published On : Wed, May 11th, 2022

Waste of money: Smart City kiosks become junk due to non-use in Nagpur

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Nagpur: The Smart City project’s special purpose vehicle — Nagpur Smart and Sustainable City Development Corporation Limited (NSSCDCL) – had come up with an innovative concept to install smart kiosks at various vintage points in the city.

The kiosks, aimed at providing online transactions of citizens, were installed at more than 5 dozen places including bus stands of the city, the central office and departmental office of the Nagpur Municipal Corporation. But the kiosks have turned out to be white elephants due to their non-use. The kiosks have become junk and caused loss of revenue to the government. It is noteworthy that software worth Rs 2 crore in these kiosks is outdated and Rs 65 lakh has been spent on 65 kiosks. Due to the lack of foresight of the administration, the ambitious plan is being destroyed.

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It may be recalled that three and a half years ago, under Smart City, one kiosk at 40 bus stands, two at departmental offices, two kiosks each in municipal headquarters and Tehsil office were set up. The cost of each kiosk is Rs 99,000. A Madurai company had developed software worth Rs 2 crore for the kiosk. Despite being the state-of-the-art system, the entire money, it seems, has gone to drain due to its non-use.

Kiosk facilities

* Online application for Birth, Death, No Due certificate

* Complaints of garbage, contaminated water

Why is the kiosk useless?

* NMC has an independent app for garbage, contaminated water, sewage

* Online application, complaint facility on mobile

Projects to benefit companies only?

The software for this kiosk was created three years ago. The software is very simple, it has a browser and only one link. This easy method was also available on mobile three years ago. Despite this, the question arises whether the expenditure incurred on this project is only for the benefit of the companies?

While designing the software of this kiosk, it was possible to provide a facility where works of citizens could be done on a regular basis. With the installation of kiosks at bus stops, a system can be put in place by which citizens can print bus tickets by making online payments. This would have saved the conductor cost in the city bus, but it was also neglected to avoid the cost of daily maintenance, the source said.

It has been observed that the kiosks installed at places mentioned about were not getting response. Many felt that the kiosks should have been installed in residential locations that are situated far away from the offices of NMC and other government departments. The people coming to these places will not prefer to use kiosks with manual facilities already available. Since the installation of the kiosks, not many citizens have gotten used to it.

People are still confused on how to use the machine and those who give it an attempt, don’t get proper response from the machine as many kiosks which are installed hang up in the middle of any transaction.

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